How to Speak Bristolian

“Well basically what it is, it’s just crap English,” says Bristol street artist Sepr as he lounges on the floor at the WYE, adding lines to a cardboard mask with permanent marker. “In Bristol people add words when they don’t need it like ‘The thing is, mind’ You don’t need the ‘mind’, just like you don’t need the ‘too’ or the ‘then.’” Unfortunately, it might take a bit more than a simple “Bristolian” 101 lesson for me to fully understand the loquacious speech of residents of the south-western English city of Bristol. The English city’s peculiar dialect was the inspiration behind the name of VAGE’s second pop-up exhibition at the WYE: “Where’s that too then?” (translation: “Where is it?”), which will feature art from UK street artists Deams, 3Dom, and Sepr

Beyond Banksy

The three Bristol boys sit Indian style on the floor working on their “masks”, which will be worn for the photo shoot (street artists cannot show their faces online because of legal ramifications). When most people think of Bristol street art, Banksy is usually the first name that comes to mind, but these three talented artists are gaining tremendous popularity and are here to show Berlin more. Although all three share the same entertaining regional accent (think of the film “Hot Fuzz”), the guys could not be any more different, both in appearance and artistic style. 

For the cardboard mask drawings, each artist chose to draw one of the others. Sepr’s drawing of 3Dom shows a man with a tiny head and a gigantic afro, complete with a depiction of a nest of birds which seem to have taken up residence in the afro. “Doesn’t he look like John Peel?” Sepr quips at Deams. Having absolutely no idea who John Peel is, I sit dumbfounded for a second until Deams responds with, “Oh yeah well you look like Dogtanian!” as he shapes the curled moustache on his depiction of Sepr, which looks like a fusion of Jesus Christ and Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride.” 

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